Luana

10 year old Luana from Hove is a young carer for her brother. Luana loves Streetfunk classes and in September 2016 we awarded her £312 for three terms of classes. 

In November 2016 Luana was one of our lucky Champions to be given a bike donated by CharityBikes.com.








Update February 2017 – Luana is interviewed on BBC Radio Sussex

Alicia

Alicia, 13, from Hove, is a talented tennis player who has represented her region competitively on many occasions and has lots of fantastic wins to her name. She was given an Edward Starr Award in December 2013 and the Trust is delighted to continue to support her.

We awarded Alicia £2,600 in June 2015 to cover her additional individual coaching and her fitness coaching.

Her mum Nicki says: “I wanted to once again say thank you to everyone at the Starr Trust for continuing to support Alicia and more importantly, continuing to believe in her - I can’t really express how grateful we all are!

Update March 2017

In February half term Alicia headed to the 16U National Tennis Event where she won her way through two qualifying matches into the main draw. Her performance earned her a place back at Roehampton in March, this time for the 16U National Winter Tour Finals.

A few days later she travelled to Southampton to play for Sussex in the 18U Girls County Cup event. At 13, she was the youngest member of the team and won all her singles and doubles matches which was a great achievement. Overall Sussex won their group, beating Derbyshire, Dorset and Norfolk so they have now gained promotion to the higher division next year which is a great result. Alicia still has 4 more years where she’s eligible to play for the team so hopefully they can build on their success next year.

Immediately after her County Cup, she left for Sutton to play in her first Ladies Open Aegon British Tour Event. She played some fantastic tennis and won both her qualifying matches to earn a place in main draw. This is an amazing achievement. Although she lost her main draw match she competed well which gave her plenty of confidence to compete at a higher level.

Finally earlier this month Alicia was back in Roehampton in the 16U Winter National Tour Finals where she played some great tennis and reached the quarter finals. She then lost but to a much older and more experienced girl.

Her mum told us “We are very proud of all her hard work and her current ranking is an incredible 17th in Great Britain within the 14U Girls age group which is a great achievement”.

Well done Alicia!!

Update January 2017

Alicia went to Bolton on January 12th to compete in the Nike International Junior Tournament which is a really prestigious junior event.

We were delighted to learn that she did really well. She won her two qualifying matches convincingly and then had a great win against a French girl in the main draw. Her winning streak was halted by a girl from the USA who was touring as part of the US National Team - however Alicia played a really strong game against her and showed everyone that she is capable of competing at that level.

The tournament was a truly international affair and Björn Borg was in attendance to watch his son Leo, who is the same age as Alicia and was also competing in the tournament. As you can see Borg was kind enough to pose in a photo with Alicia.

In a few weeks Alicia will be competing in the 14U National Tour Finals, which is the end of season event against other top girls from the UK. Life is very busy and exciting for Alicia at the moment and we couldn’t be happier for her.

Alicia and Björn Borg


Update Autumn/Winter 2016

Alicia travelled to Sunderland at the start of half term this October to play in the Girls 16U National Winter Tour where she won her way through qualifying and the first round of the main draw. She unfortunately lost in the second round to a much older player in spite of playing some incredible tennis. 

Later that week she travelled to Bath for 4 days for the Girls 14U National Winter Tour, once again playing some fantastic tennis and reaching the Semi Finals, picking up some great wins on the way.

As a result Alicia is now ranked 23rd in Great Britain for 14U girls and she still has a further 18 months in this age group.

On November 11th she is travelling to Liverpool and taking part in a Tennis Europe Event. Well done Alicia!

Update Summer 2016
Alicia reached the final of the Under 14s Nationals at Bath last week. It was her first national final, so a real milestone. Huge congratulations Alicia. Fantastic achievement!

Alicia at the Under 14s finals in Bath, August 2016

Update Spring 2015
Alicia has been playing some excellent tennis recently - she went to a couple of National level tournaments over Easter (one in Nottingham and one in Sutton) where she played really well despite have very tough draws against the top seeds. She is currently ranked 52 nationally in the U12 girls and she still has another year in this age group so we are all very excited about her progress. She is attending another LTA Regional Training camp at Sutton tennis academy which is a fantastic opportunity for her to train with the other top girls in the region.

Update September 2015
Alicia has continued training really hard and this hard work is now starting to pay off. She has attended National tournaments in Edinburgh, Bath and Bournemouth this summer but without doubt the highlight of the summer was playing on the grass courts at Wimbledon in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Finals.

HSBC Road to Wimbledon is a 14U national competition whereby one winner from each county is invited to attend the finals at the All England Club in Wimbledon for a week in August.  Alicia won the Sussex finals in July so in August she headed to Wimbledon for a week of tennis (and rain of course!). It was a fantastic experience and the players were really treated well - free tours and access to the club, players’ pass with daily lunch allowance, access to players’ dressing rooms and best of all, Alicia also got to play on championship court 18 (the 4th biggest show court), an experience which she will treasure for many many years. 

Alicia did really well over the week, reaching the finals of the Girls County singles which unfortunately she lost - she also reached the semi finals of doubles (which they lost on a nail-biting tiebreak). Alicia received her amazing runners-up trophy from Tim Henman (pictured).

Following Wimbledon it was straight to Bournemouth for the British Nike National Junior 12U Championships; only 32 girls are accepted to play in this very high profile tournament so it was a huge honour just to play. Alicia won her first match and made it to the last 16 where unfortunately she met the number 2 seed and eventual finalist, but she put up a brave fight.

Last week Alicia has played in the Sussex County championships where she was runner up in both 12U and 14U girls.

Alicia has achieved so much, however the most important thing is that she’s loving her tennis at the moment; she’s having to make sacrifices and difficult choices but whatever the future holds she’s really enjoying the journey!

Stephen

Stephen, 18, from Brighton, is a dedicated and talented athlete who has excelled in competitions around the country with his running. He has also been nominated for the Argus Sports Personality Award and won Sportsperson of the Year at BACA and Brighton & Hove City AC. This is Stephen’s second Edward Starr Award, to support the costs of travel to take part in national competitions and race entry fees.




Update January 2017

Our Champion Stephen and his family travelled to India this Christmas to train with Dan Lawson for a month. Dan is a British ultra runner and charity worker from Brighton who also does charity work in India for OSCAR India, a non-profit organisation that, through football, instils the value of education and empowers underprivileged children and youth with life skills to take responsibility of their community development. He holds the course record for the Grand Union Canal Race and in 2016, he won the European 24 Hour Championships.

Before Stephen started his month’s training with Dan, he and sister Becca visited the Oscar Foundation to deliver football equipment that they were donating to the young people there and run a football session with them. Stephen’s father told us: “Ashok, the charity’s founder laid on a banquet and then took us round the slum area where the charity originated from and showed us all the amazing things they do with so little resources (lump to our throats). We eventually arrived at a park where they held one of their football sessions and were invited to coach the children. All in all it was a fabulous experience”.

Stephen has been attending yoga classes in South Goa four times a week which have helped with his hamstrings so he has been able to train and race while there, and went on to win the sunset run in Goa while breaking the course record.



Update June 2016

Fantastic News!!! Stephen has won GOLD at the Sussex schools athletics championships at the K2 Crawley on Saturday 11th June. He raced the shorter distance of 1500m to gain some speed work and finished 100m ahead of the field with a great time of 4.08.81.

His next championship race will be the English schools in Gateshead on July 8th where he will compete in the 3000m. Well done Stephen!


Update May 2016

Stephen tells us about his time training in Portugal:

Firstly, I would like to say thank you to everyone at the Starr Trust, for their generous help of providing the funding so that I could fly off to Portugal, where I could train in the warm weather.

I travelled to Portugal on the 1st April 2016, to a beautiful town called Vilamoura. The villa my training partners and I stayed in was amazing. Over the 12 days that I stayed in Vilamoura I trained twice a day for 8 days and had one day off. The training sessions I participated in differed depending on the volume of session, for instance there were 800m, 1500m and 3000m sessions. For some of our sessions we visited the local track. I enjoyed running on the track, however it was ripped up and needed relaying which made it hard to run on.

I visited the accommodation where I stayed last year at Browns Training Facility where we used their gym on three occasions. However, using the gym was not cheap, we had to pay 12 euros each time we went, it was worth it as it was a great gym and I was able to train hard when using the equipment. On two of the main training days I visited an old European cross country course where I did my repetition session at my tempo pace. I also did a hill session there, which I found really hard, even though I have just finished the cross country season, and I am used to running on the hilly, twisty courses.

I was able to train with some of the best runners in the country who have won medals at the British Championships and one of the athletes had also competed in the final of the women’s 800m in Beijing, at the World Championships. It was a fabulous experience training with these guys, as it inspired me to train hard and win medals in future national and international championships.

Through this experience in Portugal I had to learn to do everything for myself, I had to buy my own food, cook it and do my own washing. This I found hard to start with, but I soon learnt to put together a good meal. I have now cooked my mum, dad and sister a meal since I have been home. As well as becoming a better cook, I have become more positive in myself. I believe I have got stronger physically and mentally. I think this because since I arrived back in England I have trained brilliantly and feel confident that I will run faster times this year on the track.



Update April 2016

Stephen ran the Brighton marathon 10k on Sunday, finishing in 6th position out of over 2,500 runners with a time of 32mins 14secs. Well done Stephen!


Update March 2016
The Starr Trust agreed to pay for Stephen’s warm weather camp to Vilamoura, Portugal.

Stephen will fly out on April 1st with an elite group of athletes, and will be staying for 12 nights in a shared villa to train, eat and sleep in preparation for the upcoming track season.

Below: Stephen leading the field at the UK intercounties U20 men’s race at Cofton park, Birmingham. Stephen was running really well until having a stumble and finding himself way down the field. He did however compose himself and battle through to twelfth position which was fantastic considering the top runners from all over the UK were present.





Update January 2016

Stephen has been selected to run for England in Elgóibar, Spain on January 24th, following his excellent recent form over the last few months.
Good luck Stephen!

Stephen raced at the Sussex County xc championships on Saturday that were held at a very muddy Bexhill. He ran brilliantly and won the gold by a massive 2mins 27secs.


Update November 2015

Stephen was chosen to run for England in the IAAF Permit Event in Burgos, Northern Spain on Sunday 15th November. Big congratulations from us all at the Starr Trust.
He went out with the leaders and decided (maybe a little unwisely) to take on the race himself. Towards the end he tired slightly but still managed to finish a magnificent 8th.
The size and strength of the field - which included top European and North African runners - and considering Stephen is first year in this age group gives us all plenty to look forward to!

Update Autumn 2014

Watch Latest TV’s feature on Stephen in his preparations for speaking at the Starr Hub:


Update Summer 2014

Stephen has been nominated for the Argus’ Sports Personality of the Year award! This in itself is a fantastic achievement and we are looking forward to seeing how he gets on at the ceremony on 8th June.

Update August 2014 - Midgie Goes The Extra Mile for the Starr Trust

Brighton-based mental performance coach and author, Midgie Thompson, has pledged to deliver a year of mental skills coaching to Stephen. Midgie is donating her services to the charity as she is committed to supporting the Trust help young people across the BN postcode fulfil their potential and loves to work with up and coming athletes.

Midgie says: “I’m really excited to be working with Stephen along with the support of the Starr Trust. Helping Stephen to develop the mental skills and winning strategies will make a positive difference to his running career and to his personal life. I’ve worked with individuals in all different sports and at all levels and I really love working with young people like Stephen who are passionate, talented and receptive to trying things that will make a difference. I can’t wait to see him achieve his dreams.”

Stephen says: “I am really excited about this opportunity. This will really help me with my athletic career and in general my everyday life. I would like to thank Midgie, Rob Starr and the Starr Trust for their help and support.”
 
By making connections between experts like Midgie and young people like Stephen, the Trust hopes to extend its support beyond the awarding of financial grants.

Macy

Macy, 14, is a very talented and dedicated dancer which she studies at the Gielgud Academy in Haywards Heath. Unfortunately, her family were finding it increasingly difficult to fund her lessons. 

We have been able to offer Macy a grant to pay for her tuition and exam fees to be able to allow her to continue her dream.

Macy’s sister says “We feel truly honoured to be awarded and supported by The Starr Trust. Without the funding Macy would not be able to continue with her passion for dancing, and because of this we cannot thank Starr Trust enough. We look forward to the future and being part of such a fantastic and inspiring charity.

Daisy

Daisy, aged 15, has been studying at Bird Studio and loves musical theatre. She has suffered serious health problems and her regular classes give her a release from every day life. Her mother is limited with working hours as Daisy’s younger brother suffers from anxiety making it very difficult to keep up payments for the classes.

We were able to award Daisy with £750 which will cover a year of classes.

Daisy’s theatre arts training at Bird gives her an incentive to keep moving forward through her recovery process. The award means that she can continue to progress. It will make a huge difference to her life

Daisy is featured in the #IAMWHOLE campaign which launched in October 2016. She’s featured in the campaign video, the accompanying music video and her story is on the website.

Update January 2017
After playing the role of Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical the Musical at the end of last term at Bird, Daisy was selected for Nathan Potter’s troupe of twelve young ladies who are planning performances in and around Brighton.

Her school musical this year is ‘Footloose’ and she will be playing Ethel McCormack. She also continues to play clarinet in the school big band.

Daisy’s mum Tracy says; “Being a Starr Trust Champion has enabled her to keep up her training. Performing is her life so thank you and your colleagues for the opportunity.




Update November 2016
Daisy has landed the leading role of Gertrude in the forthcoming Bird production of Seussical the Musical on 11th December 2016.

Mother Tracy says “I think it will be a great opportunity for her and an ideal time to chronicle everything that goes in and send it to you, hoping to get a video diary of rehearsals

 

Shaina

Update October 2016

Shaina qualified to enter the Unified World Championships being held in association with the WKA Association in Florida on 22nd October and we are absolutely thrilled to share with you that she has won the World Title!

Massive congratulations go out to our young kickboxing champion. This is an extraordinary achievement and she is only 14 years old.

To see an interview with her click here.







An interview with Shaina on BBC Radio Sussex about winning the World Championships:






Shaina is currently British champion for K1 Thai Boxing. She has been invited to compete in the World Championships in America this October, a massive achievement for such a young girl. Her mother is currently looking after other children within the family and would find it almost impossible to raise the funds to send Shaina to what would be a vitally important experience and enable her to really move up the ranks. We are delighted to be able to contribute to make this dream become a reality.

We have awarded her funds towards flights and competition costs and hotel accommodation for attending the world championships in America.

 

Jasmine

Jasmine has a huge passion and talent for Opera Singing - she has been awarded a scholarship to attend a course at the Guildhall but her family are unable to cover the costs of travel and extra study time which would enable her to attend. We are very delighted to be able to support her at the beginning of an immensely exciting career.

Jasmine says:
I am delighted that the Starr Trust is supporting me because the money will help towards the cost of going to Guildhall in London and extra studies that are important to me. The money means that I can go and enjoy the next step in my career and not worry about anything which will make the experience a lot more enjoyable. I will try my best at my studies to make sure that the support you give me doesn’t go to waste

Jasmine’s mum says:
As a parent I obviously want to support Jasmine in her studies however studying music has a lot of costs and realistically I would not be able to afford it. I am very glad that Jasmine got support from the Starr Trust as this means that I can allow Jasmine to study without the worry and enjoy watching her learn and grow as a performer.

Bako

Bako is a very talented basketball player with boundless enthusiasm and natural ability. He played for the U11’s Sussex team last year and helped them win the county tournament. He has since been selected to play for Brighton Cougars U14 National League Team and clearly has a huge potential. His mother has struggled financially and he wouldn’t be able to continue to attend all the necessary training sessions without our support.

We have been able to award funding towards club fees, camps, travel and new basketball shoes

Bako’s mum says:
I feel very grateful and relieved that Bako has received this funding opportunity from Starr Trust as with it Bako can now participate in all the teams training and matches available so he can progress in his basketball that he loves and has great talent for

Bako says:
I’m so happy that I have got this funding, hopefully it will help me succeed in basketball. I am a family person and basketball is my passion. Thank you Starr Trust

Hannah

Taking part in kayaking transformed Hannah’s life after facing some challenges at school. After 3 years, she became very skilled and was keen to compete at a higher level, however the costs were prohibitive for her family and they were unable to support her with it further. We awarded Hannah £3,750 for the purchase of a new kayak and the rental of Lee Valley for training.

Update December 2016
Listen to Hannah talking about her time in Dubai at the White Water Rafting Championships. She was competing with Team GB who brought back an incredible 2 Golds, a Silver and 2 Bronzes!

Hannah talked to Allison Ferns live in the studio at BBC Sussex on Tuesday afternoon November 29th.

         
Hannah at BBC Sussex

Update November 2016
Hannah was part of Team GB’s Ladies U23 in the Rafting World Championships in Dubai on November 2nd-5th, and brought home a fantastic 5 medals for Great Britain.

Rafting comprises of 4 individual disciplines: Sprint, Head to Head, Slalom and Endurance. The ladies U23 team was only formed in February this year and this was their first international event.

Hannah said “Being part of the World Championships was such an incredible experience. I am so proud of my team mates and our achievements and am extremely grateful to the Starr Trust for their financial support. As there is no national funding available, their help meant we were able to get out to Dubai and compete”.

For the full story, as well as pictures and a video from the World Championships, click here.



Update March 2016
Hannah has just been selected to be part of the GB Under 23 women’s rafting team. They have qualified to compete at the European Championships in Slovenia in May and the World Championships in October.
The team beat many more senior and established teams and are hotly tipped for podium finishes at both events. Congrats and good luck Hannah!

Hannah Kayaking




Update July 2015
Hannah and Kayleigh fundraised for us in an 8 hour Ergoathon on Saturday 15th August at Adur Outdoor Activities Centre in Shoreham-by-Sea.

They took up the challenge to paddle alternately on an Ergo machine for a total of 8 hours and they are asking if you, your friends and family would kindly sponsor them in this Challenge. Please go to their fundraising page to find out more.

Hannah says “The reason why we chose to do this challenge was to help repay the Starr Trust with as much as we could. I was honoured to get my grant and from the get go I wanted to help raise a bit of money so they could help other children like me. I found this challenge surprisingly hard considering I kayak, however, it has inspired me to raise more money for such an amazing charity





Hannah says: “I am really honoured to have been chosen as a Starr Champion. I will do my very best to make you all proud.

Her mum Claire says: “We can’t believe that you have chosen Hannah. She will get so much from the award, not only the equipment and training but meeting such inspiring, positive people from the Trust. I know that this award will touch many young people, not just Hannah, in the long term and i can’t thank the benefactors enough.


Ava

Ava loves photography. She has recently completed a Silver Arts Award in photography and her aim is to complete her Gold Arts award; this will then give her the accredited qualification she needs to take photography level 3 at college. The college she was attending unfortunately ran into funding difficulty and her course was discontinued, so in order to get to the next level she needs to complete this Gold Arts Award. She requires the funds to get mentoring from Lindsey Smith from Photoworks and also a new camera and some software. She has a huge passion for photography and had recently won an award from the Fabrica Gallery for the best soundtrack in a film competition. 

The Starr Trust has provided funding for a new camera, software and mentoring from Lindsey Smith to achieve her Gold Arts Award.

Ava says, “I feel honoured to have been given the Edward Starr Award, and with it I want to create a project that will delight and inspire young ‘camera heads’ like me! It will allow me to have the guidance of Lindsey Smith, who constantly inspires me with her kindness, cheerfulness and creativity and it will enable me to use high quality equipment and software to get my ideas across with better effect. It will also give me the chance to do a Gold Arts Award in photography which will prove to colleges that I have what it takes to study photography in the future.

I am so looking forward to this opportunity. Thank you to the Starr Trust for supporting me.

Iona

Iona applied to be able continue her studies with The Young Actors Group in Brighton; she has excelled with this group and has been chosen for lead roles both within her own group and the adult group.

The family has run into financial difficulty and would find it hard to meet the financial commitment without help.

The Starr Trust has awarded Iona £258.00 which covers the cost of the whole of the next years fees.

Iona says “‘That’s amazing! I really want to continue studying at The Young Actors Group and now i can!

Iona’s mum says “I am so thrilled that Iona is getting this extra help from the Starr Trust. Without this we would not have been able to continue at The Young Actors Group. This is a really valuable award and we hope this publicity will attract other parents who see a special talent in their child and want to give them extra help to develop their skills but don’t have the extra funds to be able to support them.




Update March 2016

Exciting News! Iona auditioned to be a part of Glyndebourne Youth Orchestra this year and got accepted. She will be performing A Midsummer’s night dream in August.

Big congratulations Iona!

Lee

Lee has a passion for tractors. He has had a very traumatic start to life and has developmental trauma, as well as attachment disorder. He is unable to engage in special school environment and has to be supported by two members of staff at all times. He receives his education off site with a bespoke learning curriculum. He enjoys spending lots of time outdoors and attends Forest School one morning a week.

It is felt he would greatly benefit from attending an access to work experience on a farm for one session a week.

Lee’s ambition is to be able to attend Plumpton College.

The Starr Trust awarded Lee £1170 to cover the cost of the farm sessions.

Update March 2017

Lee has been working with FarmBuddies who arrange social care farming programmes across the South East.

Lee is a pupil at the Cedar Centre in Brighton and his school has been very pleased with the results of his Friday trips to the farm. They told the publication Amaze; “Lee has improved his team work, time management, social skills and career focus, the plan now for 2017 is very encouraging.

Read the full story published in Amaze below:

Vaughan

Vaughan left school last year in June 2014, to be home educated after being diagnosed with special needs. His mother sought a hobby for Vaughan, and found Marina Studios, who took a strong liking to Vaughan and told her about the Starr Trust who funded him to attend dance classes there.

Vaughan was so mentally stressed and anxious he hated to speak to anyone or be noticed, he often hid behind his mother and was always on the verge of tears, getting him into these classes was a massive challenge, even though he wanted to do it. He soon earned a certificate for most hardworking and improved individual, and shortly after danced on stage with his dance group at the Dome Brighton.

His mother says: “He got up and danced free style at “funk the family” festival in Hove park, not just once, although that first step into the dance space took hours, but from that first step in to that space till we finished up and tried to go home, he danced non stop, past the point of exhaustion, even challenged his two adult teachers to a dance off, made everyone laugh and he involved everyone too, became a real lively motivational dude, it was just breath-taking for me seeing him with such massive confidence.

If you follow us on Facebook, you can link up with Vaughan’s “Educating Vaughan” page here.

Ira

17 year old Ira is a committed and successful basketball player who has excelled in the sport despite challenges at home. His plan was to participate in a high-level supported training programme and ultimately to play competitively in Florida and attend high school and college in the USA.

We awarded Ira £5,000 over 2 years to pay for his training and coaching expenses, his travel costs and his participation in American tournaments.

Ira said: “Although the news of the grant was great and a time for celebration, hard work was what got me it, so I had to bang out 20 press-ups!”

His mum Karen said: “When I read the email from the Starr Trust, I was really shocked and surprised, it had been a while since the application was submitted and you just assume that it has been awarded to someone else. I ran up stairs to let Ira read it and in true Ira style he celebrated by doing 20 press-ups. As a family the Award will make a big difference and it will allow Ira to work towards his goal of attending high school and college in America to play basketball. Thank you all so much and for believing in Ira.”


Update November 2016

Ira was interviewed about basketball, the Starr Trust and his personal journey in November’s Etc Magazine.

Ira said “It made me ecstatic. Every time I set foot on the court with just me, a ball and the hoop my smile would not disappear, nothing else mattered. Basketball opened a huge number of doors for me, introduced me to incredible personalities and people, and moulded my identity as if it was another parent.

Read the full interview here.


Update April 2016

Ira updates us on his progress:



Update June 2015

Ira was 15 when he was awarded a Starr Trust Award to pay for two years basketball training, travel costs and his participation in American tournaments.
Two years on and Ira has been working and training hard this year, and has almost finished his GCSE’s. He has taken 23 exams! He has been accepted to John Madjeski Academy in Reading next year - this is a specialist basketball academy with England Basketball ASSE funding. He will complete his A levels here and live away from home.
He has just made the South East England under 17s squad and is about to head out to a basketball camp in the USA and has a trial for a high school in Florida.

Update Summer 2014

Our Champion Ira is the star of our brand new promotional video (below), made by Film House Shoreham. Ira and his family were very gracious about taking part in the filming and we are delighted to be able to share his amazing story with our supporters and friends.

With the help of his Edward Starr Award, Ira has now jetted off to Eckerd College in Florida with his basketball team who will be playing in the under 18s tournament there and Ira will also attend a prestigious individual camp at the college. We can’t wait to hear all about his adventures upon his return in August.

Jessie

Jessie suffers from hearing loss and, after a hard time at her previous school, was flourishing at the smaller drama school K-Bis. Jessie is a talented and dedicated performer, however meeting the cost of the drama school fees was proving a challenge for her mother.

We awarded Jessie £3,000 which represents half a year’s fees and we are delighted that K-Bis agreed to cover the remaining amount via a scholarship.

Jessie’s mum says, “Thanks to the Starr Trust Jessie is able to continue following her dream with the support of an amazing team of people. I can’t wait to see how she progresses over the next year.

Samantha

Samantha is an extremely talented and dedicated classical dancer from Hove who has performed on stage in the West End, on television and at theatres all over the country. Samantha was offered a funded place at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts however due to financial circumstances, covering the cost of her accommodation was becoming an challenge for her family. The Starr Trust awarded £5000 to Samantha to pay for her dance school accommodation.

Samantha says: “I can’t thank the Starr Trust enough for supporting me with my future full time training at Tring - without which I would have had to leave and give up on my life ambition of becoming a professional dancer.”



Update December 2016
Samantha will be performing in Aladdin at the Manchester Opera House for 7 weeks running from Fri 9 Dec to Sun 8 Jan 2017. Following that in February 2017 she starts a contract as a dancer with P&O Cruises for 6 months where she will rehearse for 2 months in Southampton and then join their ship the ‘Azura’ on 16 April.  Her contract will include tours of the Canaries, Mediterranean, Bruges & Amsterdam, the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland. Well done Samantha! We wish you all the best at this exciting time.



Update March 2016
Samantha is going on Tour this April/May. Big congratulations! For more information on dates go to tringpark.com.

Encore Dance Poster




Update January 2016
Samantha is getting on very well at Tring. She returned on 5th January after her Christmas break, ready to complete their last full term’s worth of training before going out on their UK graduation tour in late April. She is currently working with choreographers Anthony Dowson, James Cousins and Jenna Lee.

Just before Christmas, she also performed in and co-directed their graduation show ‘Departures’ which was set in an airport and explored the wide range of characters that could be found there. As well as performing in 5 dance numbers, she took on the role of co-director which certainly proved a new experience for her. 

All the students are now also embarking upon their search for employment in the industry so auditions are round the corner. 

Update Summer 2014
Samantha has been cast as one of the principal roles in Tring Parks School for Performing Arts’ senior dance show which is a phenomenal achievement.

Update Spring 2015
The Starr Trust has agreed to fund Samantha for a further year at Tring Park School.

Zoë

Zoë, 15, is a promising performer from Brighton. After a recent family tragedy, she found that membership of PSSA Stage Academy really helped her, however meeting the associated fees was a challenge. The Starr Trust awarded Zoë the money to be able to continue on at PSSA and follow her dream of performing and singing.

Zoë says: “Doing performing arts is fun and its helped me concentrate on something else not just that my dad has died. It’s kinda helped me get used to it because I’m not just thinking about that and I know I can still enjoy myself.

Update November 2016

Zoë has landed a role in Seussical The Musical on 11th December. Well done Zoë!

Update November 2015

Come along to ‘Annie’ this December at the Barn Theatre in Southwick where our young champion Zoë will be appearing in this production of the fantastic musical from 17-19 December.

Kayleigh

Kayeigh, 16, from Lancing was facing challenges at school and by way of a distraction she found a foundation kayaking course at Adur Outdoor Activity Centre. She loved it and seemed to take to it with ease; through her coach Stewart she became interested in Slalom and asked if she could participate in some of the competitions.

Kayleigh won or was placed at all of the competitions she entered and was selected to be part of the GB talent programme based at Lee Valley and Shepperton, training three times a week in London as well as land training and flat water training at Shoreham. At the end of this season Kayleigh finished 14th in the country in her division, and the highest ranking short season paddler. Her aim is to represent her country and ultimately compete at the Olympics.

We awarded Kayleigh £3000 to purchase a new kayak and for some training sessions.

Kayleigh’s mum Trisha says: “This award is just such wonderful news and will still cant quite believe it. It is going to make such a massive difference to them all and it will most certainly help Kayleigh in chasing her dream.

Update July 2015
Kayleigh and Hannah raised over £900 in an 8 hour Ergoathon on Saturday 15th August at Adur Outdoor Activities Centre in Shoreham-by-Sea.

They took up the challenge to paddle alternately on an Ergo machine for a total of 8 hours and they are asking if you, your friends and family would kindly sponsor them in this Challenge. Please go to their fundraising page to find out more.

Kayleigh says “I had a really amazing day and loved every minute of the ergoathon experience. I feel so privileged that I was able to receive a grant from the Starr Trust and really pleased that I have been able to raise some funds so another person can also benefit from the Trust the same way I have

Update May 2015
Kayleigh competed in Nottingham in May. It was a really tough & technical course; probably the hardest she has ever competed on. On her first day she finished 22 out of 42; not as good as she would have liked.
However, her 2nd day was much better; she tackled the course really well, finishing 5th out of 41, and receiving a trophy for the highest placing junior under 16.

Update April 2015
Kayleigh had her first race of the season on Saturday 28th March; she came 2nd with a time of 129.25 and received a trophy (pictured below). On Sunday 29th she came 4th, missing out on a trophy but receiving a medal for the fastest Junior under 16. A great result for Kayleigh!

Kayleigh with Trophy

Nathan

Nathan has Cerebral Palsy and is a wheelchair user. He has always loved sport and over the years has tried a number of mainstream and disability sports.

In September 2013 he joined a local athletics team who borrowed a racing wheelchair for him to try. Ever since that moment Nathan has shown dedication and determination to succeed and progress with his wheelchair racing. Nathan says he feels ‘free’ and as if he’s running when he’s out on the track!

We are awarded Nathan £5000 for a new wheelchair. 

Nathan says:
“It means everything to me because by getting a custom made chair I can improve my technique and performance and be a better racer. For me wheelchair racing is like running and makes me feel so free!”

Nathan’s mum Kim says:
“From my perspective, wheelchair racing has really helped Nathan to accept his disability and increase his confidence. He’s worked really hard over the last 18 months, training twice a week whatever the weather, but needs a custom made chair in order to progress. We really couldn’t believe we’d been successful with the award and will be eternally grateful to the Starr Trust for giving Nathan this opportunity to follow his dreams!”

Update January 2017

One of our champion’s mums, Claire Clements, is friends with the amazing Paralympic athlete Baroness ‘Tanni’ Grey-Thompson and kindly arranged for Nathan to meet with her.

Tanni Grey-Thompson, born with spina bifida, is one of Britain’s greatest Paralympic athletes and has amassed a remarkable medal haul over 16 years and five Paralympic Games of 11 gold medals, 4 silver and a bronze and continues to be involved in sport and physical activity as Board Member of the London Marathon, the Sportsaid Foundation, Transport for London, and many more and won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Last month 14 year old Nathan met up with life peer Tanni who gave him some inspirational training on his wheelchair racing. Tanni told us “It’s lovely to meet a young man who has so much drive and enthusiasm for the sport, and so willing to listen to advice. He obviously spends a lot of time watching wheelchair racing on the internet which is a great way to learn about who is in the sport and how they compete. I really hope that he continues to enjoy the sport and I can’t wait to see him compete this season”.

Nathan’s mum Kim, who has totally supported and encouraged Nathan to wheelchair race, is really excited by this new friendship. She told us “We’re really grateful to Claire, Hannah and The Starr Trust for making the meeting happen. Nath learnt so much from Tanni and her husband Ian, not just about the technical elements of wheelchair racing, but also practical tips and encouragement. We were really grateful for the amount of time Tanni & Ian spent with us and Nath left feeling really inspired to train harder and work on the elements they had advised”.

Update April 2016

Nathan didn’t have a great winter in terms of his health, so his winter training didn’t go to plan and he was unable to take part in the London wheelchair mini marathon, which he was really disappointed about.

However, the track season has started well, and in his first event of the season he has qualified to compete at the National Junior championships in 2 events and is hoping to qualify for a third event in the coming weeks!


Update July 2015

Nathan picked up his racing wheelchair from Draft yesterday, and can’t wait to get to using it on the track.

He’s got his next event at Stoke Mandeville Athletics Stadium on 8th August and is planning to train hard between now and then to get some good times - he’s entered for the 100m, 200m and 400m.

Good luck Nathan!

Nathan's new chair
Nathan's new chair 2

Update June 2015

Nathan is looking forward to receiving the chair, which is being made for him, and in the meantime has continued to compete at a couple of events a month including the National Junior Championships at the end of June.
So far this season Nathan’s beaten his personal best for the 100m & 200m and has achieved a season’s best in the 200m!

Update May 2015

Nathan competed in a 100m wheelchair race at the K2, Crawley on 28th April and knocked seconds off his season best and was just 1.1 seconds off a qualifying time for the Nationals!

He was at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium on 4th May for the BWRA event, where he took part in the 100m & 200m. The weather conditions were really bad and although he missed out on qualifying times again, he gained some useful experience of competing in wet conditions and picked up some tips from some great athletes.

A great day had by all, and he’s back there this coming weekend for more racing - here’s hoping the weather is kinder to everyone! Nathan’s counting the days until his new racing wheelchair arrives.

Jamie

Jamie is a phenomenal tap dancer and received an Edward Starr Award in December 2013 to cover the costs of training and international competitions. The following year opened many doors for her and she has been very successful, including winning a gold medal at the World Tap Dance Championships in Germany. Jamie applied for support so that she can pursue one of the new opportunities that has come her way.

Jamie’s Award of £3,000 was to pay for her tuition at a prestigious tap school in Barcelona, Spain in Autumn 2015.


Update May 2016
We are very proud to announce that the hugely talented Jamie is performing TAP ADDICTION at the Komedia Brighton as part of the Brighton Fringe this May 16th and June 4th/5th. Click here for more info and for tickets.

Tap Addiction


Update June 2015
Jamie and two friends just scooped the Brighton Fringe Audience Choice Award with their show Tap That this May and is planning to become a tap teacher. You can see Jamie in action when Tap That is repeated at The Rose Studio in Kingston on 13th July. For tickets call 02081 740090.

Joe

Joe, 19, from Hove, loves performing and attends Croydon’s Brit School. He is most passionate about tap dance and hopes one day to run his own tap company. Joe’s Award is supporting the costs associated with attending Tap Attack, including travel, equipment and rehearsal time.

Joe says: “I am so grateful as It will mean that I can train at the highest level of Tap and will be given the opportunity to travel to Germany and represent England in The World Championships in December which will be such an honour.

Update June 2015
Joe says “The highlight of the last six months has been going to Germany as part of The England Tap Team with Tap Attack, competing in the World Championships there and gaining the Gold Medal for The Senior Formation Dance so becoming a World Champion in this field. Also being able to perform it again at Move It, Olympia, and performing there with Khronos, an all Male Contemporary Group from The Brit School where I attend college.

Isabell

Isabell, 16, from Brighton, has been invited on a visually impaired cricket development trip to Nepal to play against the Nepalese national team, but was having difficulties meeting the costs. We awarded Isabell with the funds to allow her to go on the trip and take part in the first ever female visually impaired international cricket match.

Ben

Ben, 14, from Sompting, has been given the opportunity to go on a developmental arts trip to Florence, but his family was unable to afford for him to do so. The Starr Trust has awarded Ben the money to allow him to go on this highly beneficial trip.

Anna

Anna, 15, from Hove, has been studying drama and dance for years now and it has always been her absolute passion for as long as she remembers, however financial difficulties made it difficult for her to pursue her dream. The Starr Trust awarded Anna fees for membership of the Young Actors Group, to allow her to be the best she can be.

Anna says: “I am so honoured to have been chosen for an Award from the Starr Trust and it has really helped me have hope that one day my dreams will come true!

Anna’s mum says: “I would just like to say that it has made an incredible difference to me, as I now feel that Anna can be fully involved in things to try and promote her acting. Having membership fees for Spotlight covered, paying for head shots, drama classes paid for and assisting in travel costs, makes the difference in Anna having a dream, to her being able to pursue a dream; so thank you so much.

Jessie-Jae

Jessie-Jae absolutely loves attending K-Bis Theatre School and has a fantastic aptitude for the performing arts, however the fees were starting to become a challenge for her family. The Starr Trust paid for Jessie-Jae to attend K-Bis for one year.

Jessie-Jae says, “I can’t believe something like this would happen to someone normal like me!

Her mum says, “Thank you for believing in Jessie-Jae and letting her live her dream”.

Update Spring 2015
The Starr Trust has awarded Jessie-Jae the funds to attend K-Bis for a further year.
Jessie-Jae says “Just knowing the Starr Trust believes in me enough to help me live the dream for another year makes me so very proud.
Having been given the chance to be an Edward Starr Champion for a second year I promise to put in 110% 7 days a week and make you all proud of me .
I have had the best year and being a champion really does feel like being part of a big happy family.

Update Summer 2014
Jessie-Jae is in the middle of her exams at the moment, but feeling positive about them and looking forward to taking part in the annual K-Bis end of year show in July. Members of the Trust team are excited to have some tickets to go and watch; more on this soon!

Lucy

18 year old Lucy from Brighton is passionate about making films but was facing significant financial obstacles which were preventing her from pursing this dream. She had also been accepted onto a Film & Editing course at the BFI in London but was unable to pay for the train fare from Brighton. The Starr Trust provided Lucy with some equipment including a tripod, a laptop, software and a printer, and paid for her travel costs to London.

Update Autumn 2014
Lucy has made a film called Family Matters, inspired by someone dear to her about mental illness. You can watch it here.

Abby

When she applied for an Edward Starr Award, Abby lived with her mother, older brother of 21 and two younger siblings aged 12 and 13. Unfortunately, there was very little money coming into the house and Abby’s mother has a serious debilitating illness; her condition was deteriorating, threatening her life expectancy. She is unable to walk more than a very short distance and has regular hospital appointments. The family supported Abby in her dreams of going to Plumpton College to study Small Animal Care with a view to working in some capacity with animals in the future (possibly as a veterinary nurse). They were proud of her ambitions, but were unable to fund travel there. Abby wanted to board at Plumpton, both to cut down on the travelling and to take the pressure off the home which is somewhat crowded. The needs of others in the family meant that for Abby to get out in time in the morning was difficult and Abby had to help her mother with housework etc. when her mother was unable to do it herself. Abby is a very able student but for various family reasons she did not attend school and therefore did not achieve academically. However with Access her attendance was good and the standard of work produced – excellent. The Edward Starr Award allowed Abby to continue in education; the first in her family to do so; and we believe that she has the potential and drive to do well – given some support to overcome/cope with some of her home life issues.

The Trust was able to give Abby £5,000 to fund her year long course at Plumpton College. 
The money covered:

  • Boarding Costs £2000.00
  • Set-up costs £1000.00 (personal – clothes, toiletries, bedding, alarm clock(!)
  • Years ‘pocket money’ £1500.00 (based on old EMA)
  • Course costs £350.00 (Books, equipment, educational trips etc.)
  • Damage deposit £150.00

Max

July 2013

Max auditioned to join the National Youth Musical Theatre and gained a lead role in West Side Story. This was a massive achievement as the auditions were held nationally and he was the youngest performer, at just age 16, where the age range was 16-23. Performers were expected to cover their own costs including training fees and accommodation whilst touring. Max’s father had died the previous year and his mother wasn’t in a position to pay for him. We therefore awarded him a contribution to help him join the NYMT.



Update November 2016

It’s been three years since we funded Max and we have just learned that he has landed the role of ‘Sonny’ in a production of Grease at Leicester’s Curve Theatre. Well done Max, this is a fantastic achievement!

Grease is running at the Curve Theatre, Leicester from 26th November 2016 to 21st January 2017.

Nick

Nick is a paraplegic swimmer who is working hard in his training. To help him on his way, we paid for him to join his local gym/swimming pool for a year. He had several competitions in 2011 (although the bad weather didn’t help) and we wish him loads of luck for the future. We also bought a Toys R Us voucher for his two siblings.

Nick got a Gold Medal for 100m butterfly at Sheffield. He comfortably beat his PB and also set PB in 50m crawl. He also has had two 6th places, two 5th places, one 4th and of course his first place.

An update on Nick - Nick competed against many paralypians from around the world at the British International Disability Swimming Championships in Sheffield in April. Nick came a very creditable 14th in 100 back,17th 50f/s and 19th in 100f/s. Nick also features on the County website and Lewes Swimming Club website and a magazine for amputees called STEP FORWARD.

Hai

We have supported Hai as he continues to play table tennis at a high level, and we decided that we would like to treat him this Christmas for all his hard work. Therefore, we bought him new paddles and shoes to help him in his competitions.  Good luck Hai!

Hollingbury Table Tennis Club is an established Community Sports Club with a long track record of playing, coaching and developing the Sport of Table Tennis. We have Junior Coaching on Monday nights for Beginners, Tuesday nights for Advanced players and Intermediates on a Friday night. Whether you want competition, enjoy practicing or would like to learn to play – new members are always welcome.

Hai is one of the youngest members of our club (Just 8 years old) and has a very bright future head of him. He was very proud and and pleased to have received support from the Trust and thanks to the grant he has been able to increase his one-to-one coaching with his coach. Hai has already been accepted into the South East Regional Squad for Table Tennis and is playing in the National Junior League Competition. He is training 4 times a week and is hoping to one day become a Table Tennis Professional!

Hollingbury TTC’s home for practice and coaching is based at Bevendean Primary School, we have 8 tables for coaching and practice and 5 for match play.

We also have an open practice evening on Sunday nights, where the kids can challenge the adults! If you are interested please contact Christine Wicks on: 01273 709612 or email her at:
cjwicks1@yahoo.co.uk

Wesley Bush-Harris, Hollingbury TTC Coach

Tom

We were approached by Tom’s mother, who was looking for funding for her son. Tom, who is 17, is a promising young footballer, and his father aged just 38 had a stroke last year, meaning that his father is unable to work, and his mother is his full time carer. As a result money is extremely short in the household. Tom had been offered one of just 23 places at Crawley Town Football Club Youth on a three year scholarship starting in July, and he was desperate to attend as it his dream to be a professional footballer but the annual train fare from Tom’s house in Hampton to Middlesex is £2880. We were extremely happy to help Tom fulfill his dream by purchasing the train fare for him, and Tom started his scholarship in July. Tom has been signed with the reserves and also plays for the Surrey FA.

Louis

Louis contacted us after he had completed his A Levels. He had been invited to join Quest Overseas to take part in their charitable Villa Maria projects. It involved three weeks intensive Spanish tuition in Ecuador followed by four weeks working with underprivileged children in Lima, keeping them amused to deter them from joining criminal gangs.

In April 2012 the Edward Starr Charitable Trust awarded Louis £700 towards his expenses for the trip. We look forward to hearing from him when he returns.

Connor

Connor applied for the Starr scholarship to pay his travel costs and necessary equipment to train at the Brit School to fulfill his dream of becoming a Stage Manager. Connor has gone on to raise money for the Starr Trust to help champion other children.

Joe

Joe is a dedicated and talented dancer who has been doing street dance with Brighton’s Streetfunk for 6 years. In 2012, he became a member of their U14 competition crew, Stereoshok. Joe’s family finds the costs of classes and taking part in competitions increasingly challenging however is very keen that he continues to dance which is his passion.

We awarded Joe £1,200 for a year of classes at Streetfunk.

Joe’s mum Hannah says: “Joe and I would both like to say a massive thank you for giving him an Edward Starr Award and helping support what he loves doing! His dedication to dance has given him a great focus and he has gained so much confidence from dance and having JP as his role model.

Joe loves being part of such a fantastic group of young people and I am extremely proud of him and the rest of the crew with their hard work and dedication. His has made some great friendships and we love being part of the ‘Streetfunk’ family!

This award will help Joe to compete at the highest level and represent Brighton and Hove in competitions across Europe.

Update Autumn 2014

Joe has just come third in the United Dance Organisation’s South Coast Street Dance Championships U14 Beginner group. His dance crew, Stereoshok also came 3rd in the U14 Advance group. What a brilliant achievement- well done to Joe and the rest of the crew.

Update March 2015
Joe has just returned from the XM British Dance championships in Lincoln. He won the U14 Intermediate Solos category and his crew, Stereoshok came 2nd. What a great achievement Joe!

Roman

Roman, 17, from Brighton, is a dedicated guitar player and is determined to take his music to the next level. Limited financial resources however meant that it was difficult for his family to meet the costs of tuition, equipment and rehearsal time.

We awarded Roman £864 to cover the costs of guitar tuition and rehearsal time over a year.

Roman says, “I am really grateful for this opportunity as this means I can continue on my journey to become a world-renowned guitarist without having to worry about inconveniencing my family with expensive lesson fees. Now I can focus fully on learning to play more.

Buddy

Buddy and his two brothers are brought up by their mother. Buddy had a very difficult time both at school and at home which greatly affected his wellbeing. In 2012, Buddy started wakeboarding and it has transformed him and his life; he demonstrated incredible talent for the sport and, with his family, he has travelled around the country to compete in tours and competitions.

We awarded Buddy £1679 to cover the costs of new kit and annual cable membership.

Buddy says: “Thank you for this opportunity for helping me out, I am really grateful and cant believe this has happened, I can not stop smiling!

Buddy’s mum says: “Thank you so much for opening out Buddy’s sporting world, it means so much to us as a family for believing in him and his utter passion for wakeboarding, it’s changed him beyond belief and allowed him to chase this continuum. We are blessed.

Holden

We were delighted to provide funding for 17 year old Holden, who has cerebal palsy, to access St.Mary’s boarding college. The funding enables Holden to access support to develop and practise independence skills with opportunities for guided and supported social interaction.

We are delighted to give Holden a further £3,726 so that he can complete his final year at St Mary’s. He has come on leaps and bounds since he started attending the school and looks forward to his last year there to continue his quest for independence.

Letter

Kieran

14 year old Kieran was finding it very hard to cope in the large secondary school he was attending. When he and his mum found out about the Self Managed Learning Centre, which was due to open in September 2006 they went along to the open day and although Kieran was anxious about returning to a ‘school’ environment, his mum insisted knowing it would be right for him and they secured a place.

It has been a financial struggle keeping Kieran at the Centre but he has now attended for 3 academic years. During that time, he has grown in confidence and is a talented writer, coping very well with 4 GCSEs and is set to attend a mainstream college to take his A levels when he finishes his exams. In 2010 he only has one more year at the Centre left before College.

Starr Trust Grant: £3600 to pay for Kieran to finish his final year at South Downs Learning Centre.

Calum

Calum, aged 13, attends Dorothy Stringer High School in Brighton. He is passionate about butterflies and insects, and is greatly involved in his school’s environmental department.

David Bellamy came to visit the school’s butterfly haven and he spoke to Calum who had his own display of different specimens. He was so impressed by Calum’s enthusiasm and dedication that he offered him the opportunity to attend an ecology course in Corfu! For Calum this is a trip of a lifetime, but unfortunately financially impossible for his family. He has spent many months trying to raise enough money to go, and even approached the school newspaper to advertise his plight and offer his labour to fund the trip. Through a lot of hard work Calum managed to raise around 20% of the cost of the trip, however the balance remained out of his reach.

The Trust felt that this was a very worthwhile cause as this could be a life changing trip for Calum, one which he thoroughly deserves. Knowing we could put a huge smile on Calum’s face we have agreed to pay for the trip in its entirety. Calum is thrilled and has agreed he will keep a diary of the trip to share with us; full details and photos will be posted on this site as soon as they are available. The money Calum has raised so far himself will be his spending money.

Calum’s Diary

Corfu was a place I had always wanted to visit. After reading Gerald Durrell’s vivid descriptions of the Greek island’s wildlife and landscapes, it sounded, to me, like a sort of special paradise. So few people could be more excited than myself when I was invited to attend a course on the island by Professor David Bellamy! The course itself was to cover a variety of topics, loosely orientated around the history of gardening and agriculture in Greece and Corfu, and their affects on the area’s natural ecology and wellbeing. Best of all, the course, entitled Garden of the Gods and based at The Durrell School of Corfu, would feature many field expeditions in the Corfiot countryside, which would allow me to look further into what I found most interesting about the island (and indeed the world) - its wildlife, and in particular, its insects.
Our first day on the island was varied and incessantly interesting. During the morning, myself, my Mum, David Bellamy and two friends on the island travelled up into the mountainous hills of Perithia , which were swathed with wildflowers and alive with butterflies, including swallowtails and white admirals. Crickets, cockroaches and plan-bugs were everywhere, and we also spotted some green lizards and snakes on our walk. Later, while several of the people running the course discussed the week ahead, I explored Gerald Durrell’s ‘Beach of white lillies’, and, while rockpooling along the beach, discovered that Corfu’s aquatic animals and plants are as amazing as its terrestrial life. That evening, myself and other members of the course set up a moth-trap on a hillside, which attracted many spectacular species; notable amongst these was the beautiful cream-spot tiger, a large and colourful insect which was particularly popular among the other members of the course. We ran a moth-trap almost every night, bringing in some fantastic insects. Longhorn beetles, tiger moths, and my personal favourite moths - the hawkmoths - were all lured in during the week.
The next day began with a brilliant lecture by David (Bellamy) on Gerald Durrell, including information on his life and work, as well as great expression of his sheer brilliance. This was followed by a talk on the history of Eastern Mediterranean agriculture, looking at the geographical origin of certain crops, and how the use of pesticides in the olive groves has damaged the island’s ecology. The week was packed with fantastic lectures on a variety of topics, including Greek poetry, natural history, and how a lack of exposure to nature can damage children. And the week’s trips were amazing, too. These included visiting an offshore island, taking a trip to a traditional Greek vineyard and winery, going on a boat-trip to the South of the Island (taking a stop for snorkeling on the way), where we took a fantastic coastal walk, and visiting a breeding programme for a rare breed of native Greek horse. These trips gave everyone on the course a wonderful taste of Corfu, a truly amazing place.

My trip to Corfu was a life-changing event. I have met some wonderful people there, and I intend to stay in touch with all of them. I couldn’t be more grateful for the funding and support that The Edward Starr Trust gave me, making a truly magical trip happen. Corfu is an incredible place, and one which I hope to return to in the future.

Holly

Holly applied for a scholarship to fund the training required to compete in affiliated show jumping competitions, which go towards helping her achieve her dream of competing in the under 18 GBR Showjumping team.